Arsenal team news update: Bukayo Saka could miss Man Utd trip
Arsenal will look to maintain their push for the top four with a positive result when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
Ahead of the game, boss Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference today and he’s provided a team news and injury update which includes the latest on Bukayo Saka, Granit Xhaka and Sead Kolasinac.
Saka was forced off early in the second half during Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday after picking up a muscle injury shortly after giving the north Londoners the lead with a fine low finish.
The England international is now a doubt for the trip to Manchester United and Arteta says the attacker will be assessed at training today before a decision is made over his availability for the trip to Old Trafford. The Gunners boss is hopeful Saka will be passed fit but insists he won’t take any risks with his players.
Arsenal will definitely be without Xhaka against Manchester United tomorrow night as the Swiss international is still recovering from a knee injury. The midfielder is hoping to return later this month but for now he remains on the sidelines along with Kolasinac. The full-back sustained an ankle injury during the international break earlier this month and has been ruled out until the New Year.
Arteta told Arsenal.com:
on the latest team news…
Granit is still not ready, Kolasinac is still not ready, we have a doubt with Bukayo and another few knocks we got against Newcastle so today is the day to assess how everyone is and if they will be fit for tomorrow and then make the decision on the squad.
I am hopeful but we don’t know. Obviously it’s a really short turnaround and the player has to be comfortable playing with a little injury, so let’s see how he is in training.
on whether he thinks Saka could play…
Well, we’re not going to risk our players if we believe that that can obviously go against us. Playing with an injury means that he may have to leave the pitch and when someone has to leave the pitch, I believe that he’s injured, even though he’s willing to continue. That injury can be 24 hours, 72 hours or a year. Bukayo is really willing. He’s been preparing for the last two days because he wants to play and let’s see how he is.
Arsenal will be praying Saka is passed fit as the attacker is a key part of Arteta’s side and it would be a huge blow for the Londoners if he’s not available to face Manchester United tomorrow night.
The Gunners head to Old Trafford sitting fifth in the Premier League table – five points ahead of United – so they’ll hope to extend that advantage with a win over the Red Devils away from home.